College Basketball Nation: Hassan Whiteside

Davis, Withey will host block party in final

April, 1, 2012
For the first time, all three Final Four games will be regular-season rematches. Kentucky beat Kansas, 75-65, at Madison Square Garden back on Nov. 15.

Monday’s national championship game will be the third meeting between the Wildcats and Jayhawks in the NCAA tournament. In 1999, Kentucky beat Kansas in the Round of 32, 92-88. Kansas won the other meeting in 2007, 88-76, also in the Round of 32.

Kentucky was the selection committee’s top overall seed, marking only the third time since 2004 -- when the committee began ranking the four No. 1 seeds -- that the top overall seed reached the title game. In 2005, Illinois lost in the final and the 2007 Florida Gators won the national championship.

Kansas head coach Bill Self won his first title four years ago, beating John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be the first time in exactly 50 years (and third time overall) that the national title game will feature a rematch between coaches who have previously met in the national title game.

In 1962, Cincinnati's Ed Jucker beat Ohio State's Fred Taylor for the second straight season. In 1953, Indiana's Branch McCracken beat Phog Allen of Kansas -- just as he had done in 1940.

There will be two AP First-Team, All-Americans on the court Monday: Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis and Kansas junior Thomas Robinson. Since seeding began in 1979, this will be only the fourth national championship game with two First-Team All-Americans on the court, and the first time since 1999 (Duke’s Elton Brand and Connecticut’s Richard Hamilton).

Davis, the AP Player of the Year, has blocked 11 shots in Kentucky's last two games. This season he has 180 blocked shots, two shy of Hassan Whiteside’s freshman single-season record set in 2009-10.

For the 2012 Men’s Basketball Championship, Davis has blocked 18 shots in the paint and altered another 23.

Davis also is one of only three players, along with Joakim Noah (2006) and Kevin Love (2008), to score at least 75 points, grab 50 rebounds and block at least 20 shots in a single NCAA tournament (since blocked shots became an official stat in 1985-86).

In this tournament, however, Davis has been outdone by Kansas’ Jeff Withey, who blocked a Final Four record seven shots against Ohio State. What’s more, Withey kept each of his blocked shots in bounds, and has kept all but 15 of his 136 blocks this season in bounds

Withey has blocked 27 shots in the 2012 NCAA tournament, two shy of the single-tournament record set by Noah in 2006.

Finally, if the Wildcats beat the No. 2 seeded Jayhawks, they will be the fourth straight team to win the national title without having played a No. 1 seed. From 1979 to 2008, only six teams won it all without having to play a No. 1 seed along the way.

Inside Thursday's box scores

January, 15, 2010
Jarvis Varnado had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in Mississippi State’s 82-80 win over Arkansas on Thursday. It was Varnado’s second career triple-double and the fourth in school history. He is one of just four active players with multiple triple-doubles, joining Ohio State's Evan Turner, Marshall's Hassan Whiteside and Liberty's Jesse Sanders. The last SEC player with more than one was Florida’s Nick Calathes. Perhaps even more significantly, Varnado passed Tim Duncan for third place on the all-time blocks list as he continues his pursuit of Wojciech Myrda’s record.

  • At halftime against Washington State, Cal guard Jerome Randle had 11 points and nine assists and appeared to be on his way to one of the more impressive double-doubles of the season. Randle never got his double-double, but still put together one of the most impressive performances of the season. Randle scored 28 points in the second half to finish with a career-high 39 in the game. Randle and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette are the only players with 39+ points and 9+ assists in a game this season. The last player from a power six conference to go for at least 39 and 9 was Missouri’s Clarence Gilbert in a quadruple overtime game in 2001.
  • Oral Roberts freshman Warren Niles entered the day having connected on one of his last 20 shots. Making his third career start on Thursday, something must have clicked. Niles scored a school freshman record 39 points and exceeded his previous career high by 23 points. His 39 points are the most by a freshman this season, besting Drew Crawford’s 35 for Northwestern. It wasn’t enough for the Golden Eagles though. Despite rallying back from a 20-point deficit to force overtime, IUPUI won 90-87.
  • Georgetown shot the lights out in its win over Seton Hall. The Hoyas were 30 for 44 from the field. The 68.2 field goal percentage is the best in a Big East game under John Thompson III and the second best in school history. It was the fifth-best shooting performance by a team this season. The Hoyas starting trio of guards combined to shoot 71.4 percent, including six-for-eight from long distance.
  • Gonzaga’s Elias Harris is starting to emerge as one of the top freshman in the nation. Harris, a native of Germany, scored a career-high 31 points to go with 13 rebounds in Gonzaga’s road win over Saint Mary’s. During the Bulldogs’ current five-game win streak, Harris is averaging 21.0 PPG and 10.4 RPG with a 69.5 field goal percentage.

Inside Wednesday's box scores

December, 17, 2009
Five things to know from Wednesday night's action:

1. Hassan Whiteside recorded the first triple-double in Marshall history in Wednesday’s 105-54 win over Brescia. The freshman came off the bench to record 17 points, 14 rebounds and a school-record 11 blocks. It was the sixth Division I triple-double of the season, second by a freshman, and first for a player coming off the bench. The last player with a triple-double off the bench was Chris Lowe (Massachusetts) in March 2008. Whiteside also recorded the first triple-double this season that included double-digit blocks. Last season, Cole Aldrich (Kansas) and Hasheem Thabeet (UConn) were the only players to record a triple-double of the points, rebounds and blocks variety.

2. Duquesne played its second double-overtime game of the season, beating Canisius 86-77. Every Dukes starter played at least 35 minutes, and both Damian Saunders and Bill Clark played the full 50 minutes. No team plays its starters more than Duquesne, which averages 173.6 minutes per game from its starting five. That is over 12 minutes per game more than the next team. Clark is averaging 38.2 minutes per game, third most in the nation. Duquesne is only getting 8.2 ppg off the bench, second fewest in D-I (USC is averaging 7.9).

3. In case there was any doubt, Chris Warren made it clear that he is back during Ole Miss’ 91-81 overtime win over UTEP. The Rebels guard suffered a torn ACL last season in the midst of a breakout sophomore campaign. On Wednesday, he poured in a career-high 32 points thanks in part to a 13-for-15 performance at the free throw line. However, Warren’s night was not always smooth sailing. With five minutes to go in the first half, he had already scored 17 points. He didn’t score again until there were 69 seconds left in regulation. He wound up scoring 11 points in the overtime period, with nine coming at the free throw line.

4. How do you explain DePaul’s loss at home to a 1-8 team? Maybe there was one player the Blue Demons didn’t completely see coming. American’s Vlad Moldoveanu was playing in his first game for the Eagles after transferring from George Mason in the middle of last season. The 6-foot-9 Romanian came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points, the most scored by an Eagles player this season. The entire American starting lineup only had five more points than Moldoveanu. It is also the most points scored off the bench this season against a power six conference team.

5. Clemson’s Trevor Booker seems to have added a new dimension to his arsenal. In the first 109 games of the senior’s career, he never had more than five assists in a game. Ten days ago, he had seven assists against South Carolina. Then last night, he was in distribution mode again. Booker was one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in an 80-63 win at East Carolina. One has to think Oliver Purnell wanted to get him that triple-double, though. Booker matched his season-high of 35 minutes in a game where East Carolina trailed by 17 at the half and never really threatened.

Five stats to remember from Monday

December, 8, 2009
A closer look inside Monday night's box scores.

1. In a win over Long Beach State, Dogus Balbay of Texas dished out 11 assists, while not committing a single turnover. That is tied for the most assists without a turnover in Division I this season. The last Longhorn with 10-plus assists and no turnovers in a game was Edgar Moreno, who did it coming off the bench in 2003.

2. Marshall’s Hassan Whiteside had his third career game with five or more blocks on Monday. He is now averaging 4.4 blocks per game, most among freshmen and behind only Mississippi State's Jarvis Varnado nationally. Through seven games, Whiteside already has more blocks than any Marshall player has had in a full season since 2006-07 (Jean Francois Bro-Grebe). Last season, Marshall’s top two shot-blockers combined for 31 blocks, which matches Whiteside’s current total.

3. Seton Hall’s Herb Pope matched a career-high with 22 points and added 15 rebounds in a win over Massachusetts that kept the Pirates undefeated at 7-0. He is just the fourth Pirate this decade to go for 20 and 15 in a game. Pope joins Charles Manga, John Garcia and Eddie Griffin (twice).

4. Charleston’s Andrew Goudelock was Monday’s top scorer with a season-high 28 points in a win over UNC Greensboro. Goudelock scored 28 while not attempting a free throw. However, that’s nothing compared to what Sam Houston State's Corey Allmond did against Kentucky a few weeks back. Allmond had 37 points without taking a foul shot.

5. Wofford lost to Appalachian State, 77-76, despite an impressive 18 assists and just four turnovers. The 4.5 assist-to-turnover ratio is the fourth highest in a D-I game this season, and the highest for a losing team.